Chuck Wendig on why he doesn't write guest posts

by Ksenia Anske

It's been a while since I've hosted a guest author. One of them was practically jumping out of his pants to guest post on my blog. I tortured him, of course, by making him wait. Well, here you go then. PLEASE WELCOME Chuck Wendig, a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He's the author of BLACKBIRDS, DOUBLE DEAD and DINOCALYPSE NOW, and is co-writer of the short film PANDEMIC, the feature film HiM, and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative COLLAPSUS. He lives in Pennsylvania with wife, taco terrier, and tiny human.

WHY I DON'T WRITE GUEST POSTS: A Guest Post By Chuck Wendig

I am routinely asked to contribute guest posts to people’s blogs, either in support of a novel or just to, I dunno, go and insert my digital DNA into someone else’s blog space. I don’t dislike guest blogs. I enjoy reading them and occasionally host them at my own blog, terribleminds.

Just the same, I generally don’t like doing them.

And so, I don’t do them.

Here, then, are the reasons why.


It’s true! I do! It’s got a web address and everything (ahem, cough cough, terribleminds-dot-com). I commit usually five thousand words of bloggery to my own blog every week. And it’s fairly well-trafficked, these days. Closing in on 4,000 subscribers, with another 10k of daily visitors coming in from Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Myspace, Squareblock, OkCupid, Buddy-Town, Fisters Connection, Cyberknitters Union, and Oprah’s website. (No, really. I was linked there once.)


I write about 5000 words per week on my own blog. And, as a full-time author, I write bare minimum 2000 words per day on talking to imaginary people – uhh, I mean, “writing my novels.” Plus: scripts and comics and the other kind of scripts where I steal a doctor’s pad and write myself prescriptions for drugs both real and invented. (“Hello, CVS? I need 40 milligrams of Putreskenol, and also a shitload of Vicodin. KAY THANKS BYE.”)


I use bad language. It’s naughty up in my brain. And I’ll probably dump some of it in your blog space – like I have here, already – and smear it around like a toddler playing with his mashed potatoes.


I know there’s a kind of expectation that authors have to do a certain kind of social media dance to sell books, but I don’t know that it works. I haven’t seen data that it does – it’s just sort of expected and accepted. And sometimes I feel like I’m dancing to make it rain in yet another unproven publishing ritual. Guest blogs are cool when it’s for people you like – less cool when it’s for a blog you’ve never heard of and they just want some free wind to fill their sails.


Blog. Bloooooog. Blaaaaaaahhhg. It’s a boggy, sloggy, sluggy word. I know it’s short for “web-log,” but that sounds so antiquated it’s damn near irrelevant. We need a new word. Somebody get to work on that. Oh, and don’t even get me started on “vlog.” That sounds like Dracula’s dipshit cousin. “I’m Vlog the Impala! I vant to suckle your toes!”


I always feel a little weird at somebody else’s blog. It’s like I’m sleeping in their bedroom. Or worse, in their closet while they sleep. Which I’ve totally never done, by the way. *shoves stack of restraining orders under desk*

Point is, a blog is a great space for a writer to shine, and when I show up I feel like all I’m doing is dulling your darling gleam.

But mostly it’s because I’m busy. And lazy. “Blazy,” let’s call it.

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Ferret Story NUMBER 6

by Ksenia Anske

FERRET FICTION FRENZY continues! You can read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 6th FERRET AUTHOR, J.C. Lillis, a pop culture junkie, serial fangirl, thrift-store art enthusiast, and Catholic school survivor. J.C. Lillis writes with both feet off the ground at all times. She never trusted ferrets. Her first YA novel, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, came out on September 21st 2012.

Ferret Story NUMBER 6 by J.C. Lillis

The Picture Window

"There's a ferret on the front lawn," said Bob Smedley. "Two of them."

He stood at the picture window in this thick brown tie and a dress shirt stained with Sanka, leaving a ring of nervous taps in the condensation. They were ferrets, all right. Bob was not the sort of person whose eyes deceived him. He knew the long weaselly bodies, the pin-sharp fangs, the stripe of black across the faces, as if they were wearing masks. What he didn't expect was the ring of blood around each tiny mouth, and the way the little beasts moved. He anticipated frolicking. But these. . .these seemed to shamble.

April, his wife of twenty years, sipped weak tea from a chipped china cup in their neat, freshly Endusted dining room. She barely heard Bob. She preferred looking through back windows, her gaze caressing the skeletons of her prized summer rose bushes. She watched a cardinal hop from branch to naked branch, looking for someplace to settle.

"That's fine, Bob," she murmured. "Don't forget your lunch."

Bob knew much was on the line today. He was up for a coveted promotion at the stapler factory. All his life he'd took pride in his job, in being part of a company that helped stick things together. Now, as he watched five more ferrets stumble into the fray, their eyes wild and unfocused and their paws stained with red, he felt himself coming apart.

"April," he said. "I really think you should see this."

"I heard you," his wife sighed, wiping at the ghost of an old water ring. Bob never remembered coasters. "Will you stop and get some milk on the way home?"

Four more ferrets lurched onto the lawn, dragging the remains of the Rogersons' Yorkshire terrier. Bob just blinked. How easy it was to acclimate to savagery, to accept casual destruction at the end of breakfast hour. He felt shipwrecked. If only he could talk to April. If only she would hear him. If only she would stop scrubbing the breakfast dishes before he was done, and correcting his use of whom, and putting her hair in pin curls at night.

The words gathered inside him. Then, thunder.

"FERRETS," he heard himself shout, his voice cutting through the hum of the dishwasher, the saccharine swoon of Bobby Vinton on the radio. "FERRETS FERRETS FERRETS. FERRRRRRRREEEEETTTTTTTSSS!!"

Now he had done it. Surely he had.

April sighed and replaced her teacup in its saucer. "Bob," she said. "We don't need to talk about ferrets. We aren't savages." 

She got up from the table and went to the kitchen. He heard a familiar rustle: tuna fish sandwich dropping into paper bag.

"You're going to be late," he heard, faintly.

The ferrets--thirty now, maybe forty--had finished their congregation, and now they had turned their primitive attention to the Smedley house: specifically, the picture window. When they reached it, the tapping was ruthless and efficient. Within thirty seconds, the first small crack had spidered across the spotless pane. Dishes clinked in the faraway sink. Bob watched the ferrets work, their mouths a terror of want, their bloody paws a frenzy of focus. He admired that. You had to. Idly, he wondered what death by ferret would feel like, and if his church-promised afterlife would contain a fresh wife with a taste for hot-air balloon rides and monster movies, for spontaneous popcorn and midnight picnics by some celestial lake.

When they came for Bob--claws battening to his chest, teeth tearing into his thick brown tie--he was smiling. 

P.S.: If you want to indulge in more ferretness, here is Ksenia's Ferret Story that started it all (NUMBER 0?). And here you can find more amazing ferret stories written by different authors: Ferret Story NUMBER 1Ferret Story NUMBER 2Ferret Story NUMBER 3, and Ferret Story NUMBER 4, and Ferret Story NUMBER 5.

Love my posts? They love you too. They asked me to tell you: "SUBSCRIBE HERE."

Ferret Story NUMBER 5

by Ksenia Anske

FERRET FICTION FRENZY continues! You can read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 5th FERRET AUTHOR, Rachelthe one and only, sister, writer, artist, reader, laugher, lover of life, connoisseur of all things hilarious and ironic. Rachel is a nerd and requests you to "speak geek" to her.

Ferret Story NUMBER 5 by Rachel

I once had a ferret, his name was Billy. He was a cute little ferret and I loved him so much. Sometimes I’d get bullied at school and it just wasn’t fair. So I’d come home and he’d be right there! He comforted me, and occasionally told me off. I’d feed him nice treats and he just loved the peanut butter flavored ones.

One time, I came home and he wasn’t there. I panicked and ran all over the place! I finally found him. He’d escaped the cage, and hidden behind the couch. I’m glad I found him when I did, he was starting to eat a hole in the back of the couch and if he squirreled 9 errr, ferreted his way into the couch, I would have never found him! He loves to hide in things so I went to investigate the cause of such a horrific accident.

I had been redecorating his cage and it completely caught me off guard that he’d wiggled out of the bottom of the cage. I must have forgotten to snap a hook in place. 

So funny! I set in a little treat for him and watched him nibble. I finished all my homework and then thought about the theme of his enclosure. I’d decided to go for a rainbow theme.

The colored tubing that he could crawl in alternated color, Red, Orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, but I decided to add in more things, wheels and hammocks and ladders. I almost wished I was a ferret.

The other thing I loved about Billy was the fact that he loved to listen to music. I had music for all different kinds of moods and organized them on to playlists. The way I knew how they made him feel was by which toy he’d stand by.

And the way I knew that was because he was a trained ferret. Not only was he an awesome pet, but once he was a drug sniffing ferret.

To be totally honest with you, I still take him out for secret missions. I usually turn In whoever I find to the police anonymously. He’s like a super ferret.

I would totally believe that because even his markings make him look like he’s wearing a mask.

He loves superhero movies, and really movies of any kind except romantic-comedy. He just falls asleep to those.

He also helps me with homework. He clicks his claws on the table and ‘eeps’ when I don’t add something right. But oh how I dread finals and exams! Billy isn’t there to correct me for those, because he’s just a ferret.

One day, I lamented this to my mother and she looked shocked. She asked me how long Billy had been helping me with homework, and how much time I spent with Billy.

She asked me if I had any other friends. I didn’t, but I didn’t really mind. Then mom broke the craziest news to me. She said that Billy was a figment of my imagination.

Billy didn’t really exist after all.

P.S.: If you want to indulge in more ferretness, here is Ksenia's Ferret Story that started it all (NUMBER 0?). And here you can find more amazing ferret stories written by different authors: Ferret Story NUMBER 1, Ferret Story NUMBER 2, Ferret Story NUMBER 3, and Ferret Story NUMBER 4.

Love my posts? They love you too. They asked me to tell you: "SUBSCRIBE HERE."